Operation Cobalt: submachine gun and drug transport discovered during a raid in Auckland


The weapon was found with stolen tools and jewelry. Photo / Provided

Police said they located a firearm, ammunition and stolen property during their raids on properties in Auckland as part of Operation Cobalt.

The searches today and yesterday were part of an investigation into a syndicate, which has links to the Head Hunters, Detective Inspector Lloyd Schmid said.

A Tec-9 submachine gun, several types of ammunition and $25,000 in cash were also on Valdese Rise’s property.

“A woman located at an address in Browns Bay has been arrested and faces serious charges as a result,” Schmid said.

Among the items found by police were 23 15g bottles of GBL, a large amount of LSD and smaller amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine and cannabis.

Police also recovered stolen property, including tools and jewelry.

The 32-year-old woman is due in North Shore District Court, including for possession for the purpose of supplying GBL and LSD.

She was also charged with unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm, four counts of unlawful possession of explosives, theft and drug offences.

“Operation Cobalt continues to target and disrupt illegal behavior, like the operation allegedly carried out by this syndicate,” Schmid said.

“Our search warrants were carried out at a number of addresses throughout the region. This is a heartening result given the harm we know is inflicted on communities when these drugs are distributed.”

Schmid said the investigation is continuing and police cannot rule out further arrests.

Operation Cobalt was launched in July to respond to an upsurge in bullying behavior and gang violence, particularly drive-by shootings between Killer Beez and tribesmen in Auckland during the first half of the ‘year.

Since then, police have seized more than 200 firearms and brought more than 12,900 charges to court, as well as confiscating commercial quantities of drugs and large sums of cash.

The nationwide crackdown – which includes a specialist team of 40 people in Auckland – was due to end in December.

The police had not yet decided whether Operation Cobalt would be extended until next year.

As part of Operation Cobalt, police found Mongols’ semi-automatic firearms in a Remuera mansion, discovered drugs and cash believed to belong to a headhunter out on bail in a drug rehab facility, as well as a meth lab filled with guns linked to a senior rebel member.

The upsurge in shootings has also subsided – particularly the conflict between tribesmen and Killer Beez – which may be a sign that the increased police attention has had its intended effect.

The Killer Beez and the Tribesmen were involved in at least 23 shootings during a three-week period earlier this year.

Police continue to encourage anyone with information about illegal activity taking place in their community to contact them through the 105 service or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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